SPRED – SPecial REligious Development
SPRED is a parish small faith community that provides spiritual enrichment designed to meet the needs of persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The goal of SPRED is for catechists and friends to form a community of faith in which everyone experiences the presence of God. We are committed to the belief that every person deserves an opportunity to grow in faith and to be part of our Church community.
SPRED assists the children or adults with disabilities to develop an awareness of God in their lives; an awareness of themselves as persons of dignity who are loved by God; an awareness of themselves as an integral part of the parish community and the entire Church. This is accomplished by meaningful one-on-one relationships within a small faith community.
SPRED is for all persons with developmental disabilities. It provides catechesis to develop a sense of the sacred, a sense of the church and a sense of God. The process used is to help each one to enter into communion with Jesus Christ within the Christian community of faith. Sacramental initiation takes place according to the personal rhythm of each individual.
SPRED began in the late 1960’s in the Archdiocese of Chicago, IL and now has centers in 28 diocese worldwide. The SPRED methodology originated from the method “Vivre” written by Fr. Jean Mesny of Lyon, in the late 1950’s and the doctoral work of priest-psychologist Euchariste Paulhas (L’Educabilite Religieuse des Deficients Mentaux). The two works were enhanced by research and refined by the Chicago Diocesan Cathechetical Department. The program is sound educationally, psychologically as well as theologically. Each diocese who adopts SPRED is given a basic outline from which the locally based program can evolve, ensuring that both the program and the training are centered within the local church.
If you would like more information about SPRED, or information on volunteering as a catechist or a special friend, please contact:
Irma Rodriguez, Coordinator
Office of Faith Formation for Persons with Disabilities
One Cathedral Square
Providence, RI 02903